Repeat after me: pizza is not just bread, cheese and sauce. Pizza is not just bread, cheese and sauce.
If that’s your travel mantra, it might be because you’ve been burned by “pretend pizza” one too many times. Pretend pizza is a pita with ketchup and mystery cheese on it, or a a doughy, undone crust with a smattering of something red, the occasional piece of what may be melted plastic and a cacophony of flavors and textures on top, including corn and pineapple.
Real pizza is New York, or Chicago. Heck, I’ll even go so far as to say that pizza is Italy (northern Italy, please). Pizza is not South America. Or is it?
Finding good pizza in Santiago requires a sleuth’s eye and a discerning palate. If you’re looking for good pizza in here, you can’t go wrong with any of the following, tried and tested by expat gringos, visitors, and even the locals. In no particular order, years of research yield the following recommendations:
Tiramisú is on a tiny street in a tiny neighborhood of Las Condes. As a consequence, it’s filled with many-childrened families all day long on the weekends. It’s also got one of Santiago’s best pizzas with a thin, but not too-thin crust, a tangy, bright sauce and quality cheese. Think of splitting a pizza and a salad with a friend.
Golfo di Napoli is in Ñuñoa, which means you’ll have to brave the bus to get here or take a long walk from Metro Irarrazaval, but it’s totally worth it. It’s chaotic and Italian-feeling, with its Neopolitan owner running hither and yon, making sure everyone has their fresh ricotta bread basket to start. The pizzas are great, very New York-style and only dressed up with traditional toppings. The rucola (arugula) delivers salad and pizza all in one. Line-up starts early on the weekends for lunch; call to make a reservation if you’re in a rush.
El Ciudadano in Providencia, but still off the beaten path, is in a cozy brick building and has a ton of character. They offer pizzas with several nontraditional toppings, yours to choose or not. The crust is brick-oven baked, crisp on the edge and still soft in the middle, with good sauce and plentiful cheese. Nontraditional toppings include smoked salmon (which is so wrong, and so delicious).
Pizza Azzis is an absolute surprise, perched just off of Plaza Italia (Baquedano Metro) though on the downtown side. They do specials with mini pizzas and drinks, and have a surprisingly good marinara on their pizza in addition to plentiful (but not too much) cheese. It’s a cheap and easy spot, with good pizza and a welcome change from all the empanadas, for not too much more money.
For more pizza picks in Santiago, check out our top 10 list. There’s something for every palate and every budget.
Photo by fotoosvanrobin